Steps to save on legal costs

Project management

Running a legal case is a project management exercise. Like any other project it involves a breakdown of tasks.

Some of these tasks are able to be done by clients.

If clients do these tasks in a way that means the lawyer does not need to do them, the client saves money.

Step 1

The best way for a client to save money is to draft a chronology and list of key persons.

You can download this MS Word template.

Significant savings can be achieved by providing us this document.

This is so long as:

  • attention-to-detail is put into doing the document, and
  • it is comprehensive and reliable.

Step 2

The other important way to save legal costs is to provide us a copy of every relevant document, in strict chronological order.

Ideally, the documents should not be hole punch or stapled. This is so that we can easily run them through a scanner.

The documents should not be broken down into categories of documents, but just be provided on an overall basis, in strict chronological order.

If any categorisation needs to take place, it is best for us to do that later (although, typically this is not required to be done).

What are legal costs?

In a legal dispute, legal costs are broken down into:

  • costs to do tasks necessary for the Court case. These tasks include drafting Court documents and attending mediations and Court hearings (including getting ready for those mediations and Court hearings)
  • costs for providing advice to clients and keeping clients up-to-date with the dispute/case, whether done in writing or verbally. These include costs for explaining things to a client, such as the court process and thoughts about what is happening with the other party (including predictions about what motivates the other party that might be relevant for settlement discussions).

Generally the party that loses is required to pay the winning party's legal costs. But this is only in relation to the first category above, not the second category.

In legal vocabulary this is known as "party party" costs.